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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Federal takeover of AIG planned

Federal takeover of AIG planned

Federal officials reportedly may take 80% stake in the nation's largest insurer in an $85 billion rescue plan to prevent financial chaos worldwide.

By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney.com senior writer
Last Updated: September 16, 2008: 8:41 PM EDT
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The federal government is reportedly on the verge of taking over crumbling insurer American International Group in an $85 billion deal that would leave the company in the Federal Reserve's hands.

According to published reports late Tuesday, officials decided they must act lest the nation's largest insurer file bankruptcy. Such a move would roil world markets since AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) has $1.1 trillion in assets and 74 million clients in 130 countries.

The plan calls for the Federal Reserve to take an 80% stake in AIG, the New York Times reported. The insurer's assets would be used to secure the loan. Investors' holdings would lose much of their value.

A bailout of AIG would mark the most dramatic turn yet in an expanding crisis that started more than a year ago in the mortgage meltdown. The resulting credit crunch is now toppling not only mainstay Wall Street players, but others in the wider financial industry .

The government had resisted throwing a lifeline to AIG, hoping to entice investment firms to set up a $75 billion rescue fund. Officials opted not to bail out Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday. But by Tuesday night, it became clearer that the private sector would not step in to help AIG, which has a greater reach into other financial companies and markets than Lehman does.

Meanwhile, the company's options grew more limited as the day wore on. Its already-battered share price fell another 21% Tuesday with more than 1 billion shares trading hands, and plummeted another 46% in after-hours trading.

AIG did not immediately return calls for comment. The company issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon saying it "continues to pursue alternatives."

The statement also told policyholders that its general and life insurance businesses, as well as its retirement services division, were adequately capitalized and operating normally.

The company was scrambling to raise capital to stay afloat after being hit with credit rating agencies downgrades that is forcing it to come up with billions of dollars in additional collateral fast.

New York State officials, who regulate the insurance titan, had urged the federal government to rescue AIG.

"I don't think this country, with all we've been through right now, where our economy is, can afford it," New York Gov. David Paterson told CNN.

New York State tried to help
The state attempted to help AIG on Monday by allowing it to tap into $20 billion in assets from its subsidiaries if the company could comes up with a comprehensive plan to get the much-needed capital, said a state Insurance Department spokesman.

"It has to be part of the solution to the problem," said spokesman David Neustadt.

Paterson said AIG could transfer $20 billion in assets from its subsidiaries to use as collateral for daily operations. In exchange, the parent company would give the subsidiaries less-liquid assets of the same value. He stressed the company is financially sound and that no taxpayer dollars are involved.

Also Tuesday, former Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg said in a regulatory filing that he is monitoring the situation. Among the moves he is considering: purchasing AIG assets, lending to the company, investing more in it, seeking board seats, acquiring the company or offering advice to management.

The funding became ever more crucial as the insurer was hit Monday night by a series of credit rating downgrades. The cuts could prove deadly to AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) and force it to post more than $13 billion in additional collateral. Shares were down 35% in mid-day trading after falling more than 70% in early morning trading and losing 61% of their value the day before.

Late Monday night, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's Ratings Services each said they had lowered their ratings. A few hours earlier, Fitch Rating had also downgraded AIG, saying the company's ability to raise cash is "extremely limited" because of its plummeting stock price, widening yields on its debt, and difficult capital market conditions.

The downgrade could force AIG to post $13.3 billion of collateral, Fitch said in a statement, citing AIG's July 31 estimates. Also, the moves will make it more expensive for AIG to issue debt and harder for it to regain the confidence of investors.

Analysts urged the company to unveil its restructuring plan.

"Management needs to address investor concerns now before the market sell-off becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Rob Haines, analyst at CreditSights.

Global ripples if firm were to fail
If AIG were to fail, the global ripple effects would be unprecedented, said Robert Bolton, managing director at Mendon Capital Advisors Corp. AIG is a major player in the credit default swaps market, an insurance-like contracts that guarantee against a company defaulting on its debt. Also, it is a huge provider of life insurance, property and casualty insurance and annuities.

"If AIG fails and can't make good on its obligations, forget it," Bolton said. "It's as big a wave as you're going to see."

AIG has had a very tough year.

Rocked by the subprime crisis, the company has lost more than $18 billion in the past nine months and has seen its stock price fall more than 91% so far this year. It already raised $20 billion in fresh capital earlier this year.

Its troubles stem from its sales of credit default swaps and from its subprime mortgage-backed securities holdings.

AIG has written down the value of the credit default swaps by $14.7 billion, pretax, in the first two quarters of this year, and has had to write down the value of its mortgage-backed securities as the housing market soured.

The insurer could be forced to immediately come up with $18 billion to support its credit swap business if its ratings fall by as little as one notch, wrote John Hall, an analyst at Wachovia, on Monday.

This year's results have also included $12.2 billion in pretax writedowns, primarily because of "severe, rapid declines" in certain mortgage-backed securities and other investments.

The company brought in new management to try to turn the company around. In June, the company tossed out its chief executive, Martin Sullivan and named AIG chairman Robert Willumstad, who joined AIG in 2006 after serving as president and chief operating officer of Citigroup (C, Fortune 500), in his place.

First Published: September 16, 2008: 8:42 AM EDT




Find this article at:
http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/16/news...rss_topstories

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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

Not sure what quotes to use to make the Sub Line appear bold. Mods, please change it varna cha pai gussa ho jaaenge.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:08 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

saala yeh coz be bahut harami he re. dekh they do all this stupidity, govt finally rescues tham on top of it those fukks lay off ppl as well. yeh kaisa chalega re. phukat ka govt se paisa and lay u r employess man. That's not a bad idea. Is there any body who would like to open a financial company with me? PM me
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Old September 16th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

Privatized profits. Socialized losses.
If AIG goes to hell, let it. We are better off without it. World is not going to end just because AIG shot itself in foot.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 10:26 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by Ravi View Post
Privatized profits. Socialized losses.
If AIG goes to hell, let it. We are better off without it. World is not going to end just because AIG shot itself in foot.
awww how can you say that! you are a bleeding heart liberal! what will happen to all those employees if these companies fail! awww!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by Ravi View Post
Privatized profits. Socialized losses.
If AIG goes to hell, let it. We are better off without it. World is not going to end just because AIG shot itself in foot.
AIG has an I in it...Insurance...does that ring the bell?
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Old September 17th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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Post Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

In the late 90s and early 2000, it was the venture capitalists and tech companies and startups which were screwed because everyone wanted to get on the bandwagon of 'the internet will change the way business is done'.

Many greedy venture capitalists on Sand Hill road wanted to make quick money. Many morons with a MBA or engineering degree from Stanford or Harvard and a Power Point presentation were handed over cash to fund their startups.

What happened? It all imploded as there was no real business case to sustain the internet bubble.

After the meltdown, the venture capitalists wisened up and even if you had a working prototype of your application/service/website, the VCs were very very cautious and conservative in investing.

Today, we see a growth of start ups again in the Silicon Valley but 90% of the companies today are not like those stupid - 'Oh we just want eyeballs to our site and we will sell the items below price they cost us' dot coms.

During the internet boom, there were so many 'dot com paper' millionaires and many well to do folks. They all bough homes and did not worry about how much down payment they have, what the interest rates were, etc.

Many bought homes at zero down and with interest only loans. This time around the greedy role was played by the middlemen who peddled mortgages and loans. These were realtors, mortgage brokers, mortgage divisions of many big and small banks, the whole ring! Even stupider were idiots who bought homes which were more than they could afford. Most stupid were those idiots who took second loans on the equity on their homes and added rooms or upgraded the furnishings and other features in the house. And all this while living paycheck to paycheck after being to just pay the mortgage installments per month. No safety net built in to consider interest hikes.

Okay, common people have simple dreams of buying a house. Nothing wrong. However, the greater blame lies with the housing finance companies and banks who did not worry about what happens if the economy slows down. What happens if their borrowers are unable to pay up due to job losses as a result of a slowing economy.

And then the housing meltdown started last year, but these companies like Merill and Lehman did not do anything. Did they not have hot shot MBAs who ran the business? Did they not anticipate 'worst case' scenarios? Did they not have their favorite acromynm buzzwords all lined up like 'SWOT' analysis and 'risk mitigation' plans?

Naaa, nothing. All were just greedy and purposefully stupid and ignorant towards the 'what if' scenario. And they waited too long. Finally when their bluff was called, they all collapsed like a pack of cards.

I am not against the capitalist form of economy where you do your best to sell your products and services. I dont oppose taking some credit to match your own liquid resources to buy assets like homes and offices. But how can folks be so stupid to not foresee the most obvious things like cycles of the economy which go up and down periodically?

I have been tempted to buy a home many times, and I would have too, but in the Bay Area, I am a pauper as far as buying a decent home in a good locality is concerned. Already the employee stock options program followed by most companies in high tech is down the tubes as they now have to account for the options right away on the balance sheet. So the number of options handed out are reducing. The stock prices of most tech stocks are not really encouraging. There is no real growth which can help ordinary employees (in lowere rungs of the corporate stack) make any real purchases.

And now with this meltdown, I am just thanking God for having a decent job which helps me pay my bills. I dont feel sorry for the greedy aholes who ran these big companies which are now folding. I feel sorry for the ordinary employees in these companies who are suddenly jobless. The top guys have already created golden parachutes for themselves.

I hope this downturn goes away quickly and the economy bounces back soon.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by rameshp
awww how can you say that! you are a bleeding heart liberal! what will happen to all those employees if these companies fail! awww!
What has liberalism anything to do with saving banks? In fact, those who lost their 401k and life savings during dot com bust and current recession can lean on Social Security. And Social Security was started not by a rethug, but by a democrat.
As for jobs lost, they will hopefully find something. But as a capitalist I don't believe it's govt's job to rescue those jobs. Thousands of people have lost their job this year. In fact, this is 8th straight month of job losses (including me).

I've been keeping a tab on cable news, and to date, I haven't heard one Republican denounce Paulson's decision to rescue AIG. Not even from loathsome 'Club for Growth'. On Monday McCain was saying he is against Govt bailing AIG out. On Tuesday, when Govt actually did it, he was suddenly for it. McCain was against any regulation for last 20 years until he suddenly realized on Tuesday that he was for it. Where do these retards come from?
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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:12 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

i am against govt. rescue of AIG. i am also against takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:21 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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i am against govt. rescue of AIG. i am also against takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae!
AIG is different from FM&FM. AIG is a private company, just like Enron, while FM&FM are GSEs. Govt does have some role to play in FM&FM, but not AIG/BearStearns.
Let's see how it now goes with WaMu - which looks like next in line to be purchased, or up for auction.

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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by Ravi View Post
AIG is different from FM&FM. AIG is a private company, just like Enron, while FM&FM are GSEs. Govt does have some role to play in FM&FM, but not AIG/BearStearns.
Let's see how it now goes with WaMu.
thats the beef i have with libs! both of these are private market interventions designed to prevent market collapse. govt. has no business putting taxpayer money into either of these companies. if some stupid f*cks are going to lose their homes, let them. why should my money help them?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 04:07 AM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by dhurandhar View Post
AIG has an I in it...Insurance...does that ring the bell?
Did u mean that 'I' stands for Islamic and not for Insurance???
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Old September 18th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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i am against govt. rescue of AIG. i am also against takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae!
Though I would not like the tax on my hard earned money to bail out such institutions, I have to think of the fact that if the entire economy crashes, then there will so many more job losses and overall turmoil.

I would like the SEC and other government bodies to come up with extremely tight regulations which wont allow such companies to screw up and then ask for a bail out.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:29 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
Though I would not like the tax on my hard earned money to bail out such institutions, I have to think of the fact that if the entire economy crashes, then there will so many more job losses and overall turmoil.
That's called Socialism chapai. Just because lost of jobs are lost, you suddenly want govt to bail them out.
If the entire economy crashes, let it. Why should I foot the bill to fix this mofos?
And then, you keep repeating the mantra 'Dems will increase my tax'. Rethugs took you to a war, cut taxes, and are now bailing out massive companies. So who pays for it? Mera baap?
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Last edited by Ravi; September 23rd, 2008 at 12:03 AM.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:31 PM
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Re: Federal takeover of AIG planned

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
Though I would not like the tax on my hard earned money to bail out such institutions, I have to think of the fact that if the entire economy crashes, then there will so many more job losses and overall turmoil.

I would like the SEC and other government bodies to come up with extremely tight regulations which wont allow such companies to screw up and then ask for a bail out.
I think the US govt is not stupid. Yes they are bailing out these companies for the big picture of overall economy, but they are giving it on loans and once things start picking up in a couple of years, they'll make a killing of profits. It looks to be a sensible business decision as well. This was already done in 89-90, when the govt bailed out hundreds of banks and when the economy looked up again made a windfall profit
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